Autism genes: Researchers have found several gene mutations that, though rare, sharply increase the risk of autism -- providing clues that may lead to a new understanding of causes and possible treatments for the condition now affecting 1 in 88 children in the United States.
The new studies also show these mutations are more likely to arise in
sperm from older fathers. That tracks with previous research showing a
link between older parenthood and autism.
Cancer, suicide and heart attacks:
The first week after a cancer diagnosis is a high-risk time -- and not
because of the physical effects of the cancer, a new study suggests. Suicides and heart attacks spike right after people get the news,
likely because of the psychological impact, Swedish researchers say.
"We need to be much more vigilant about watching people," and offering
help, one researcher tells the Los Angeles Times.
New sleeping pill: A new sleeping pill, marketed as a solution for people who wake in the middle of the night
and have trouble getting back to sleep, goes on sale today. But some
sleep experts are raising caution flags: Intermezzo contains a lowered
dose of the active ingredient in Ambien and has the same potential side
effects, including behavioral disturbances, sleep walking and worsening
of depression. It might also impair driving if users get behind the
wheel too soon after taking it.